Talent is nothing without discipline and motivation

SHARE   |   Monday, 21 May 2018   |   By Isang Lekhutile The Workplace

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all mothers! The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother – Theodore Hesburgh. Hope all the fathers including myself will adopt and apply the principle coined by Theodore Hesburgh in their lives. I sincerely and profoundly appreciate the invaluable role and contributions our mothers have made in our lives, homes and communities at large. I wish them well in their pursuit of aspirations.

Recently, I was granted rare opportunity to deliver a lecture, as guest lecturer, centred on discipline at one of the local universities. Deliberately, I chose to split my lecture into two parts: one on management consultancy and another on motivation. This lecture was mainly driven by my personal observation that so many bright, brilliant and talented people fail to realise their potential and dreams   due to lack of focus, discipline and motivation.


This article is therefore target at both the young and the old. Indiscipline is one aspect that universally affects parents at home and lecturers at universities and managers in work environment set up. In my view, without disciple in all facets of life there is inevitably no order and success to talk about. 

It is imperative to write on this subject and encourage those who still think the “world is as easy as A.B.C.”. To back my submission on discipline, Jim Rohn once declared “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment”. In addition, Roy L. Smith furthermore cemented my viewpoint by explaining that discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability. However, talent only is insufficient to guarantee your success in attaining your goals and fulfilling your lifetime business if you are not disciplined and self-motivated.


Which home, church, company or any entity will tolerate indiscipline? Acceptably being talented is desirable, nevertheless without discipline and motivation, it will remain a pipeline dream to fully develop and realise your talent. Disciple and self-drive are key ingredients in nourishing and nurturing your talent to the pinnacle of your potential and success.

My viewpoint on discipline is replete with testimonials of renowned and highly skilled and successful artists, sportsmen, businessmen and politicians world over. On the other hand, it takes an iota of indiscipline and lack of integrity for these gifted and successful individuals to fall from grace to grass.


Locally and regionally, we have too many cases of great men and women whom never fully utilised their talent and full potential due to indiscipline and lack of self-motivation. One writer describes talent as the abilities, skills and expertise that determine what a person can do. Effort concerns the degree to which the person deploys their talents. Sad, as it may be, this is the truth. What about You? So many successful men and women in Botswana, some in prominent positions, who plunged out of school without any qualifications due to lack of funds yet made it owing to just motivation and self-disciplined personalities in pursuit of goals. One Commissioned Military friend of mine once said, “Discipline is what keeps waking you up in the morning, day after day of this, ready to do your job, and bring your brothers home alive”. That is their own definition of discipline in the forces.

Nonetheless… it is still applicable to our daily life. In the mines, discipline is what saves you from an accident or incident. In hindsight, having once worked at Debswana Orapa Mine, I vividly remember that lack of discipline to strictly and relentlessly obey and observe safety rules led to fatal incidents in Boteti area. Discipline in such an environment was key to survival and thriving in your career. Equally with the same token, discipline remains key to our success in our lives.


Gary Ryan Blair said: “Discipline must be a habit so ingrained that it is stronger than the excitement of the goal or the fear of failure”. Companies’ strength is based on the discipline of their employees, which is why getting discipline right is critical for today’s competitive environment. Maintaining discipline in the work environment is pivotal. The success of organisations with the best practices and desirable work environment is all hinged on the collective responsibility of all employees of the organisation from the top to the bottom of the organisational structure. This is achieved through discipline in maintaining and adhering to the organisation’s code that governs and directs the expected individual behaviour of all employees. Failure to ascribe to the code will result in disciplinary procedures being preferred for failure to conform to standing rules. Resultantly, discipline is key and should be observed.

For me, self-discipline means controlling yourself, your actions, and your reactions. Lack of self-discipline could lead to failure, loss, health challenges and relationship problems. Not being perfect myself, however I am conscious of the importance of discipline in conducting both my personal and professional lives. In conclusion, I believe discipline and motivation are far more important than talent to get to the top of any chosen field. Discipline brings stability and structure into a person’s life. I close this article with Bertrand Russell. He once said, “Nothing of importance is ever achieved without discipline”. "It's not the work that's hard, it's the discipline." Anonymous    

Related news